A section of Tangatanga MPs allied to Deputy President William Ruto in Gusii region have now pledged to support Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i’s presidential bid, should he run.
MPs from Nyamira County — Joash Nyamoko (North Mugirango), Shadrack Mose (Kitutu Masaba) and Vincent Kemosi (West Mugirango) — say they will work with the CS.
The announcement leaves their supporters in confusion, with some residents accusing them of flip-flopping. Dr Matiang’i’s supporters, who expect him to announce his presidential bid soon, claim that the fence-sitting by the MPs is a survival tactic.
Observers now say that the move deals a death blow to Dr Ruto’s efforts to galvanise support in the region, considering that the three MPs are his main point-men in Nyamira. Last week, the three publicly declared their support for Dr Matiang’i in a funeral service in Tinga which he had also attended.
“I want to tell the CS here that I support him fully. Let no one lie to him that we are his enemies. We have no reason to fight him. We cannot go against the will of our people,” said Mr Nyamoko.
He told the Nation in an interview yesterday that, on Matiangi’s bid for President, they will make a decision when he formerly declares his stand. He lamented that the Abagusii community had been sidelined by other communities because of a lack of unity among its leaders.
Mr Nyamoko claimed that other communities had their standard bearers representing their interests at the national level, but Gusii region was being used as a vote-hunting ground.
“If you go to Western, there’s Mudavadi,Wetangula, and Oparanya representing the Luyhia interests. If you go to Ukambani, there’s Kalonzo Musyoka. Mount Kenya is represented by President Uhuru Kenyatta while in Rift Valley, Ruto is the leading light. Who represents Gusii?” Mr Nyamoko posed.
The former Nyamira County assembly Speaker said the interests of the Gusii community were more important than the loose and temporary political groupings that eventually ended up compromising the greater good of its people.
“If the CS announces his bid for President, we will decide on whom to support between him and the DP. For now, he has not announced his political interests and so our support remains with Dr Ruto,” said Mr Nyamoko.
He added that they support the planned coronation of Dr Matiang’i as an elder and the Gusii community spokesman.
“We need someone to look up to on community matters. The hardworking CS deserves the position,” said Mr Nyamoko.
The announcement by the three MPs comes just a few months after Kisii Deputy Governor Joash Maangi pledged to work with Dr Matiang’i for the sake of Gusii unity.
As the DP’s point man in the community, he has spent the last two years organising functions for him and leading delegations to meetings at his Sugoi and Karen homes.
“I joined Dr Matiang’i so that we can unite the Abagusii so the community can speak in one voice in order to have greater bargaining power on the national stage,” said Maangi.
The deputy governor has left his supporters and critics confused about his political stand.
Mr Kemosi said that, even though they support the DP, they are working closely with CS Matiang’i to ensure unity of the community.
“For now, we have one of our sons in a high position in the government and we would like to use that chance for the development of our region,” said the West Mugirango MP.
Mr Mose said that, for now, they are focused on the region’s development and opportunities to empower residents.
“Dr Matiang’i has a role to play to ensure we are successful in achieving our goals. When the right time comes, we will make our political decision,” said the Kitutu Masaba MP.